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1st Time Itinerary Help-Banff-Jasper-Vancouver

1st Time Itinerary Help-Banff-Jasper-Vancouver

Old Jan 18th, 2013, 01:45 AM
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1st Time Itinerary Help-Banff-Jasper-Vancouver


I’m planning a trip to Banff and Vancouver for the first time in early-mid June and am looking for tips and advice on our itinerary plan. I have a conference in Banff so will first fly into Calgary and then take a shuttle (or car rental) to the hotel in Banff. We also plan to do an Alaska cruise that departs on June 14.

I arrive in Banff on June 5 and have 2 days free (June 5 and 6) – should I rent a car in Calgary or in Banff to get around or do a guided tour?

The next few days will be busy with the conference so I will assume minimal sightseeing.

The next free day starts on June 9th – and I would like to be in Vancouver by night on June 12th to be safe and enjoy 2 nights in Vancouver before the cruise on the 14th.

1. So my question is what would be a good driving itinerary from Banff to Vancouver over 4 days. I would like to see Lake Louise, Jasper, Whistler, Icefields Parkway and any other scenic spots along the way.

2. From some basic research, some have suggested that I go Banff --> Jasper-->and then retrace back south on the Icefields parkway to Lake Louise (as the views are different each way) and then take highway #1 -->Kamloops or Whistler --->Vancouver

a. Or is the driving from Jasper to Vancouver on Highway 5 safe and not too dangerous and scenic and more preferable?


1. What car rental companies offer good rental fees for 1-way rentals from Banff to Vancouver without a hefty drop-off fee
2. Would it be better to rent the car in Banff or Calgary?
3. What is the best and most scenic highway routes to take?
4. How much time should we spend at each stop?
5. I’m thinking to start the drive to Japser on June 9th and stay in Jasper for 2 nights (9 & 10) and leave on the 11th to Lake Louise on the way to Vancouver. Or should I go to Lake Louise first from Banff then to --> Jasper --> Vancouver? Then on the 12th drive to Whistler and then to Vancouver
6. So then the issue is where to stay overnight on the 11th – Lake Louise or continue driving to Kamloops (another 5 hours). Which would be the better place to stay overnight or is there another better option in between?
7. What are the “must-see” sights in both the parks and enroute and where will be get our most bang for our buck in terms of scenery with limited time and it being our first time in this region?

I’m just in the early stages of planning so would welcome any advice.

Many thanks
12poopoo is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 07:00 PM
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All of the routes are scenic. To get from Calgary to Vancouver, you have to cross about four mountain ranges, as well as an area with semi-arid highlands. You really can't lose, no matter which route you take.

The route from Jasper via highway 5 is scenic and safe - and a little shorter, just not quite as jaw-droppingly scenic as going back via the Icefields Parkway and then west on highway 1 over Rogers Pass. Both routes converge on Kamloops, and from there you have the choice of the slower, arguably more scenic TCH #1, or the Coquihalla (#5).

Options between Lake Louise and Kamloops include Golden, Revelstoke, Sicamous and Salmon Arm, as well as some smaller towns. It's really hard to advise a stranger on the internet as to where it's better to stay, knowing nothing about them, their interests - or their budget. Are you willing to pay the prices in Lake Louise (which reflect the highly desirable location and limited stock of accommodation)? It might be best to google up each of those places' official tourism websites (or look them up on the provincial one, www.hellobc.com ) to get an idea of which might interest you the most.

People have reported getting one-way rentals with no drop fee via a UK travel agency called "Canadian Affair". I don't know for sure, but I assume that it will probably be easier and cheaper to rent a car one-way from Calgary (a city approaching 1 million people) than Banff (pop. 8000) and has more rental agencies, more competition.

For "must sees" in the parks, I would suggest using the Parks Canada website - www.pc.gc.ca , and then choosing the parks you want info for. You will be seeing or passing through Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Glacier and Mt. Revelstoke National Parks.
krp329 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 07:49 PM
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If you can get the car rental from Calgary with a small drop off fee in Jasper, you should take the ViaRail Canadian from Jasper to Vancouver. The train leaves Jasper at 2:30PM on Sunday June 9 and arrives in Vancouver the next morning usually before 10AM.
The local tourist bus company is Brewster which might be helpful if you don't want to rent a car one way.
tomfuller is offline  
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